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New study finds vast online marketplace for guns without background checks

August 06, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Gun Culture, Military Industrial Complex, White Privilege

From WashingtonPost:

How the NRA Exerts Influence Over Congress

The marketplace for firearms on the Internet, where buyers are not required to undergo background checks, is so vast that advocates for stricter regulations now consider online sales a greater threat than the gun show loophole.

A new study by Third Way, a centrist think tank with close ties to the Obama administration, found that thousands of guns, including so-called assault weapons, are for sale online and that many prospective buyers were shopping online specifically to avoid background checks.

The study focused on Armslist.com — a popular classified site similar to Craigslist.org that facilitates private sales of firearms and ammunition based on location — and analyzed listings in 10 states where senators voted against a background checks compromise this spring.

At any given time, more than 15,000 guns were for sale in those states, according to the study, and more than 5,000 of them were semi-automatic weapons. Nearly 2,000 ads were from prospective buyers asking to buy specifically from private sellers, where no background checks are required.

“At this point, this is the biggest loophole in the background check system,” said Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, director of social policy and politics at Third Way.

Background checks — designed to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic violence perpetrators or the severely mentally ill — are mandatory for gun sales at retail stores, but not at gun shows or for private sales, such as between neighbors and family members.

The National Rifle Association and other gun rights supporters have advocated against expanding the background check system because they believe doing so will not stop society’s most dangerous people from procuring weapons and eventually will lead to even stricter gun regulations, including a federal registry.

But gun-control advocates have long prioritized closing the gun show loophole, believing that is where people seeking to avoid background checks buy their firearms. Hatalsky noted that 17 states have closed the gun show loophole in their states, and that law enforcement officers have become savvy about scouring gun shows for people evading the law.

New plea for gun rights: NRA Petitions SCOTUS to Legalize Gun Sales to Minors

August 04, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Imperialism, Military Industrial Complex


(Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)

The petition, with the lower court opinions attached, is now available, and can be read here. It is a large file.

From ScotusBlog:

The National Rifle Association and two individuals under the age of twenty-one have asked the Supreme Court to strike down a federal law that bans licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to minors. A federal appeals court upheld that law, ruling that Congress was justified in believing that easy commercial access to pistols for teenagers leads to violent crime.

The new case, NRA v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (docket 13-137), raises one of the broadest challenges to a gun control law to reach the Court in the five years since the Second Amendment was interpreted to protect a personal right to have a gun, at least for self-defense.

Under a law that dates to 1968, Congress imposed a series of limitations on access to guns for anyone under the age of twenty-one. The only restriction specifically at issue in the new case is a ban on purchasing a handgun from a federally licensed gun dealer, for anyone who is eighteen, nineteen, or twenty years old.

The law does not ban those in that age group from obtaining guns, or even from obtaining handguns. They may get such a weapon from their parents or a guardian, and may even buy a handgun in a private sale. They may also buy a rifle or shotgun from a licensed dealer. What is banned altogether is the purchase of a handgun from a dealer — the source that the NRA told the Court is “the most common” and “most logical.”

The NRA and two nineteen-year-olds who joined in the challenge filed their petition after the Fifth Circuit Court had split eight to seven in refusing to reconsider the ban that had been upheld by a unanimous three-judge Circuit panel. In upholding Congress’s power to single out a specific group in society for curbing its gun rights, the panel had raised doubts about whether young adults between the ages of eighteen to twenty are protected by the Second Amendment.

Turning Up the Heat on GOP During August Recess

August 01, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Development, Education, Immigration, Poverty, Workers' Rights


Tomas Martinez, of Atlanta, chants during a rally in front of the White House on July 24, calling for of immigration reform.
(Photo: Evan Vucci, AP)

From USA Today:

As they prepare to leave the Capitol for a month-long August recess, Republican members of the House of Representatives are taking with them legislative summaries and informational packets to tackle tough questions in their districts about immigration.

Supporters of a proposal to revamp the nation’s immigration laws plan to use the recess to pressure House GOP members in their districts to pass a plan like that which passed the Senate in June.

Those in favor of granting citizenship to an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants say they will use rallies, marches, coordinated phone calls, social media campaigns and pressure from big-dollar donors.

“This is the beginning of a long, hot summer for the House of Representatives,” said Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union, a labor union that supports the Senate’s immigration bill.

Republicans will also face pressure from Tea Party groups and other opponents of the Senate immigration bill.

From HuffPo:

“This is a new approach. The theory in the past has been to be stealth about the effort to confront members at town halls — but sometimes it’s been too stealth, and we haven’t generated enough activity,” said Brad Woodhouse, president of the progressive group Americans United for Change. “Since everyone knows that both sides are doing this, we’re going to be public-facing about it.”

On Wednesday, the group is launching Accountable Congress, a new website meant to be a summer toolkit for the progressive community, providing information about where Republican members of Congress and senators will be speaking during the August recess away from Capitol Hill. It includes progressive talking points on issues of the day, including immigration, climate change and gun violence, in addition to suggested questions to ask Republican lawmakers.

Woodhouse said he wants supporters to confront the elected officials, ask them tough questions and record the exchanges. The group plans to share noteworthy responses, and to collect and share information about what Republicans are doing and saying. Americans United has presented its plan to various progressive organizations already and will be holding daily calls with activists to coordinate the strategy.

“We’re also not just focusing exclusively on swings -– whether in the issue or electoral sense,” said Woodhouse. “We’ll try to have a presence at any GOP member event.”

House Republicans are putting together their own August recess playbook. The House Republican Conference has created a 31-page document offering instructions to members for meeting with constituents, promoting the House GOP’s agenda and garnering media attention. It does not, however, advise members on how to deal with confrontational town halls.

Democrats took a thumping during the 2009 summer recess, when lawmakers faced tea party activists at town hall meetings during the height of the health care debate. The party lost control of its message, with the myth of “death panels” often dominating discussions.

“It’s Simple Mathematics”

February 16, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Criminal Injustice Series, Economic Terrorism, Education, Housing, Intersectionality, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, White Privilege

 

Real Solutions Don’t Demand Marriage, Just lots of Math..

See also Prison Culture, The Atlantic and The Washington Post

black line Capture

Gun Control Group Super Bowl Ad

February 03, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, White Privilege

Georgia man shoots and kills young Latino who accidentally pulled into his driveway

February 01, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, White Privilege

From NBC:

Rodrigo Diaz, 22, was driving around with his girlfriend and two friends when he pulled into a driveway, thinking they had arrived at another friend’s house, his brother says. But instead he pulled into the driveway of Phillip Sailors, 69, who thought his home was being robbed, his lawyer says. Sailors then shot Diaz, according to the police report, citing what Sailors told officers at the scene. Diaz later died while in the intensive care unit.

“Basically, what happened is they were looking for one of my brother’s girlfriend’s friends,” says his brother David E. Diaz-Valencia, 23. “The guy came outside and my brother’s girlfriend said he was screaming, ‘Get off my property!’ and he shot into the air. My brother was backing out fast because he was scared and he rolled down the window to say he was sorry and he was not doing anything wrong. Then the guy shot him in his head.”

When officers arrived, Angie Rebolledo, Diaz’s girlfriend, had blood on her jeans, both arms and both hands as she was attempting to get a response from him and screamed frantically that her boyfriend had been shot, according to police.

Police arrested Sailors, of Lilburn, Georgia, who was booked into the Gwinnett County jail Sunday afternoon and charged with murder, according to the police report.

“At this point we have established probable cause to charge Mr. Sailors and when the investigation is complete, we will turn over the case file to the Gwinnett County District Attorneys Officer for processing,” Lilburn police Chief Bruce Hedley told NBC Latino. “To preserve the integrity of the case, I will not be releasing further information concerning this incident.”

Fear of a Black Gun Owner, When the NRA Supported Gun Control Laws

January 28, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality


Huey Newton of the Black Panthers at a Revolutionary People’s Party Convention in 1970 (David Fenton/Archive Photos/Getty)

From The Root:

It may seem hard to believe, but the modern-day gun-rights debate was born from the civil rights era and inspired by the Black Panthers. Equally surprising is that the National Rifle Association — now an aggressive lobbying arm for gun manufacturers — actually once supported, and helped write, federal gun-control laws.

In light of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre that claimed the lives of 20 children as well as escalating violence in cities like Chicago, which saw 500 homicides in 2012 alone, President Barack Obama recently unveiled his plan for stricter gun control. The proposal calls for a universal background check and a ban on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, along with 23 executive orders. But these efforts — no matter how reasonable — are not without their critics.

It is ironic that the modern-day argument for citizens to arm themselves against unwarranted government oppression — dominated, as it is, by angry white men — has its roots in the foundation of the 1960s Black Panther movement. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale became inspired by Malcolm X’s admonishment that because government was “either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property” of African Americans, they ought to defend themselves “by any means necessary.”

UCLA law professor Adam Winkler explores this history in his 2011 book, Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America. “Like many young African Americans, Newton and Seale were frustrated with the failed promise of the civil-rights movement,” Winkler writes. In their opinion, “the only tangible outcome of the civil-rights movement had been more violence and oppression, much of it committed by the very entity meant to protect the public: the police.” Winkler goes on to say, “Malcolm X and the Panthers described their right to use guns in self-defense in constitutional terms.” Guns became central to the Panthers’ identity, as they taught their early recruits that “the gun is the only thing that will free us — gain us our liberation.”

The Panthers responded to racial violence by patrolling black neighborhoods brandishing guns — in an effort to police the police. The fear of black people with firearms sent shockwaves across white communities, and conservative lawmakers immediately responded with gun-control legislation.

Gallup: Americans Support President Obama’s Gun Reform Proposals

January 24, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, White Privilege

From TPM:

Given a choice to vote “for” or “against” nine of President Obama’s key proposals to reform the nation’s gun laws, Americans support all of them, a new Gallup poll released Wednesday found.

Notably, Americans back criminal background checks for gun sales 91% to 8%, more mental health programs 82% to 15%, reinstating a federal assault weapons ban 60% to 35% and limiting the sale of high-capacity magazines to 10 rounds per clip 54% to 43%, the poll finds.

The poll was conducted Jan. 19-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

“The question does not tell respondents that all nine proposals come from Obama’s recently released plan to reduce gun violence; however, the wordings used to describe them intentionally follow the White House’s “Now Is the Time” plan descriptions,” Gallup says.